Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Mr. George has visited Grandfather Smallweed regarding ___________.

2. Mrs. Snagsby, as well as the reader, is unclear at this time about ___________.

3. Mrs. Pardigle is focused on ___________.

4. It becomes obvious to Jo that Lady Dedlock ___________.

5. Mrs. Badger tells Esther that ___________.

Short Essay Questions

1. Discuss the fact that Dickens' culprit turns out to be Mademoiselle Hortense. Why did he not choose a different character?

2. Charity and philanthropy seem to be addressed frequently in the story. Mrs. Pardiggle and Mrs. Jellyby have something in common in their efforts to help others. What is it?

3. Who is Mr. Vholes in this story? What is his role in Richard's life?

4. What foreshadows a relationship between Woodcourt and Esther in this chapter?

5. Dickens brings poverty and wealth together to create intrigue in the story's plot. What is young Jo's involvement in the plot and why is he important?

6. With all of his physical and mental deficiencies, why would Grandfather Smallweed make the trip to George's shooting gallery?

7. It seems curious that Dickens' characters tend to go to certain places for no apparent reason, such as Jarndyce agreeing to visit Neckett's place. In any case, a curious theme that seems to resurface is the neglect of children. Discuss your ideas about why Dickens continues to bring up this theme.

8. Discuss the ending of the story. What is Dickens' intention when he allows Esther to live on happily after all that has taken place?

9. what is to become of Krook's Rag and Bottle house, now that he has died? Is its disposition a surprise?

10. Describe the general scene in the Chancery hearings on the Jarndyce suit, and London, as it is set by Dickens in the first chapter. Is there anything attractive or alluring about the ambience of either?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Chapter 22 of Bleak House, Mr. Bucket makes reference to the "fever houses" in London. Research the epidemics of typhus and smallpox that swept through England in the 1800s. What was the statistical impact, how were the diseases treated, and how were they brought under control?

Essay Topic 2

Write a well-researched essay on England's "work-houses" for the indigent. You should include how they came to be, what they offered, the conditions present, and whether anything like them exists today. If they were closed, when and why did this take place?

Essay Topic 3

Several times in Bleak House Dickens describes the most disgusting and unsanitary conditions of London cemeteries. What were those conditions? Why were they allowed to get to this state? Have they changed? Research the history of London burial grounds and write a detailed essay, using images, if possible.

(see the answer keys)

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